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Flooding: UN pledges assistance to Bayelsa, others

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Yenagoa—As anxiety mounts over the predicted heavy rains this year with the possibility of flooding in part of the of the country, the United Nations, weekend pledged to provide technical assistance to Bayelsa State and other states to mitigate the likely impact of the impending flood and other related environmental issues.

United Nations Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, gave the promise in Yenagoa, while on a two-day working visit to inspect the effects of the 2012 flood in parts of the state.

The UN Under Secretary in an interview, said that the duty of her office was not to provide any major engineering projects but to help identify what could be done to help prepare the country, state and people for what would come after.

She explained that the World Bank, African Development Bank and other such bodies were available to Bayelsa State to discuss with and see what could be done.

Refusing to be drawn comparison between the level of devastation caused by last year’s flood in Bayelsa State and other places, she said “it is hard to make comparisons,” adding that her work was usually on country, state and community basis.

The authorities in the state, she said did well in their efforts to mitigate the effects of the 2012 flood, but there were lessons to be learnt as there was possibility of more flooding this year.

She said, “I am here in Bayelsa to see for myself the impact of the devastating flood of last year. I have had the opportunity to talk to the ordinary people and the Post Flood Management and Response Committee on the efforts made in the provision of food, shelter and other relief materials.

“There are lessons to be learnt and we would like to work with the state government and federal authorities to support and partner in strengthening preparedness  and look at ways in which we can assist with technical support.”

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